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Monday, March 17, 2008

badk flooding

The director as storyteller
By Jerry Donato
Monday, March 17, 2008
Babangon Ako’t Dudurugin Kita is a Lino Brocka magnum opus. The best man for the job to recreate it on the small screen is Joel Lamangan, a Brocka actor and tinseltown’s acclaimed storyteller. Babangon is Lamangan’s third outing for GMA 7. He was the main man behind the success of Dramarama sa Hapon soaps Sinasamba Kita and Pasan Ko Ang Daigdig.

Sinasamba and Pasan Ko reigned supreme in the laid-back afternoon block with an average of 20 percent ratings. Many believe that the two shows’ audience share was impressive in a timeslot where many are out for work and only moms and househelpers stay at home. But what challenges the director in Lamangan is how Babangon Ako’t Dudurugin Kita will equal the primetime supremacy of Marimar.

“I’m offering televiewers a realistic drama from the show (Marimar) with touches of fantasy,” says Lamangan. “There will be changes in Babangon Ako’t Dudurugin Kita compared to its original form. The TV version is no longer accurate as new events are added and new characters are introduced in the story. The challenge is how to excite the public and to make it more interesting. It has to be palatable to the diverse audience of TV.”

That’s why Lamangan always expects the best from everybody, especially the actors who work under his wing. After all, he is known to be a disciplinarian director.

“My actors don’t give me headaches so far,” shares Lamangan. “I haven’t encountered any tantrums yet. Besides I can’t afford to experience one. I think they respect me as a director and I also set the right attitude from the start. I hate people coming late and not prepared with their assignments or dialogues.”

Lamangan’s work ethics speaks of his theater background where professionalism is always the tall order of the day. You come to deliver no matter what.

“So far, so good,” reveals Lamangan of how things are going on the set of Babangon Ako’t Dudurugin Kita. “Angelika dela Cruz and Yasmien Kurdi as rivals have a good chemistry. They blend well. Angelika doesn’t have to adjust (to everybody or to anything) because she started and worked here before.”

Premiering on March 24 on GMA 7, the Gilda Olvidado story is about love and revenge and stars Kurdi as the pretty, naive Salve who finds a husband in Alfred (Marvin Agustin). Alfred marries her for convenience. Along the way, Alfred makes a liaison with Via (Dela Cruz), an influential, scheming daughter of a politician who will make Alfred’s climb to the top easier.

Their newfound dalliance will push Alfred to leave Salve in misery. That’s where the real drama unfolds.

“I like the idea of making big screen masterpieces to soaps,” says Lamangan. “You’re making them (like Babangon Ako’t Dudurugin Kita) available to a wider audience. These works should not be fossilized.”

What medium of self-expression and form of entertainment is he more at home with?

“I’m a fan of three mediums — TV, movies and theater,” answers Lamangan. “I love all of them. I can shuttle from one medium to another and back. The dictates of each medium is different. There are different requirements as far as the technical aspect of TV production is concerned which includes lights and lens, among many other things. For TV, the shooting days are longer. Unlike in movie making, you can finish one in 15 to 20 days. TV requires meetings every week. In doing soaps, the director should get hold of the audience’s interest because they can change channel anytime they want.”

Having directed movies and TV soaps for years, does he still find time to act?

“Yes, if there’s a good role. I’ll do it why not?,” replies Lamangan. “I act for Peta and Dulaang UP once a year.”

That makes Lamangan an actor’s director.


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